U.S. Kicks Out Turkey From F-35 Programme
The United States government formally ejected Turkey out of its F-35 Programme after Ankara started accepting delivery of Russian advanced Air defense system. The initial parts of the S-400 air defense system were flown to the Murted military airbase northwest of Ankara on Friday, ditching the U.S.
“The US and other F-35 partners are aligned in this decision to suspend Turkey from the programme and initiate the process to formally remove Turkey from the programme,” said Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment at the Pentagon. While Turkey officials said that the move by the U.S. can affect the relationship between the two countries.
The White House said that Turkey’s call to buy Russian systems undermine its North Atlantic Treaty Organization commitments. “We call on the U.S. to correct this mistake, which will irreparably damage our relations,” the ministry said.
Mr. Trump said he was not happy with Turkey’s decision to pursue a $2.5 Billion shipment from Russia. “Turkey is very good with us, very good,” Mr. Trump said, citing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s decision to release a detained American pastor last year. “And we are now telling Turkey because you have really been forced to buy another missile system, we’re not going to sell you the F-35 fighter jets.”
In the race to buy F-35 fighter jets, Turkey was one of the biggest importers of the planes just behind the UK and Japan. This year the U.S. expected Turkey to buy 100 Jets. Ellen Lord, Pentagon’s top acquisition official said that the ejection of Turkey from the program would bring out will cost $600 Million to Turkey as most of its part was supplied by Turkey Manufacturers however now it’s moved to the U.S.
Lockheed Martin Corp, which builds the F-35 and derives around 30% of its sales from the plane, has played down the impact of Turkey’s ejection.